Here in TRLEOOB*, we’ve been playing around with translation software.
For instance, as you may recall, in my day camp challah post, I wrote:
“Well done, young bakers!”
Most – if not all – human English-to-Hebrew translators would translate this as:
“!כל הכבוד, אופים צעירים”
However, according to Microsoft, the correct translation is:
“!אופים שבוצעה היטב, צעיר” (Literally, “Bakers that was [sic] done well, young!”)
Meanwhile, Babylon came somewhat closer with:
“!טוב עשה, אופים צעירים” (Literally, “Good did [sic], young bakers!”)
And then there’s Google, which, in its infinite wisdom, chose to adopt a multilingual approach:
“!bakers ,כל הכבוד צעיר”
Now, admittedly, the literal meaning of this odd phrase is, in fact, “Well done, young bakers.”
Nevertheless, I must confess that I have a few, ahem, minor quibbles. Namely:
- The word “bakers” isn’t exactly Hebrew.
- In Hebrew, the adjective should follow the noun, but here the order is reversed.
- Although “bakers” is obviously plural, “צעיר” is singular.
But to paraphrase one of my earlier posts, if the erudite Rav Google rules that this is the proper translation, who am I, a lowly and humble J-blogger, to argue?
Which translation did YOU like best?
On a related note, I was asked by the Hebrew-to-English translator who did this letter about the IDF chaplains to inform my readers that she’s available for translation work. For more information, please contact me at the email address in the sidebar to the above right, and I’ll gladly forward all inquiries to her.
*TRLEOOB=the real life equivalent of our blog